If you haven’t been following this election cycle’s caravan of candidates or still don’t quite know what is being asked in the state’s four bond questions, don’t be embarrassed. Below is a quick rundown of important details you can use to plan ahead or tab to read while you stand in line at the polls on Tuesday.
When and where can I vote? Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. To find your polling place, visit the state of Maine’s website and enter your address. That link will also show you a sample ballot that includes candidates to choose from in your local, county, legislative and congressional races, as well as the four bond questions and a single citizen’s initiative Mainers will decide on.
Anyone who hasn’t registered to vote can do so before Election Day at your local town office, city hall or right before you vote at your polling place on Tuesday. Assuming you’re at least 17 years old, you should bring with you a valid ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, and a piece of mail, bank statement or paycheck stub to prove your address. The Maine Voter Registration Application is short and you can fill it out on the spot before you vote. You have to be 18 on Election Day to vote.
Once you register (or if you’re already registered as a voter) you do not need to show any identification to vote. Don’t hesitate to call your local municipal clerk with any remaining questions.
All polling places in Maine close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, and the BDN will bring you full coverage and results that night for all races, including your local boards and committees.
What’s on the ballot? On Nov. 6, you have the privilege of choosing our next governor, three congressional delegates, four bond questions, one citizen’s initiative and any candidates in your local races.
Only in this election’s congressional races do Mainers have the option for ranked-choice voting, which means you’re able to rank your candidates from most preferred to least preferred. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to use this new voting method if you don’t want to. Selecting only one candidate in these races will still count, just as it has in the past.
All other races, including local and gubernatorial, require the traditional method of voting — you vote for one candidate and whoever earns the most votes wins. If these dueling voting methods are confusing to you, don’t worry– they’re confusing to lots of people.
Gubernatorial: Republican Shawn Moody, a small business owner with a successful chain of car repair shops, Democrat Janet Mills, the state’s attorney general, and Independent Terry Hayes, who currently serves as state treasurer, are competing to become Maine’s next governor. The candidate elected by popular vote will succeed two-term Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who is completing an eight-year run in office. Here are some recent articles detailing the candidates:
Congressional: Maine is divided between two congressional districts (click here to see which district you live in). The 1st District covers a portion of southern and coastal Maine and includes Portland, Augusta and Waterville. Maine’s 2nd District is vast and ranks as the largest district east of the Mississippi River. It spans the majority of the state, from Lewiston-Auburn up to Canada, encompassing 11 of Maine’s 16 counties.
Lastly, three of Maine’s four congressional delegates are seeking re-election.
In the 1st Congressional District, five-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, is favored to win her seat against Republican Mark Holbrook and state Rep. Marty Grohman, I-Biddeford. Here are recent links detailing this three-way race:
In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent U.S. Sen. Angus King, an independent from Brunswick, is expected to handily retain his seat for a second six-year term against state Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, and Democrat Zak Ringelstein of Yarmouth.
In the 2nd Congressional District, two-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, is fighting to keep his seat from state Rep. Jared Golden, D-Lewiston. With Poliquin and Golden in a dead heat, this is expected to be the state’s closest congressional race. Independents Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar are also running. If Golden unseats Poliquin, it would be the first time an incumbent in this district has lost re-election in more than a century. Here are some recent articles:
Ballot questions: Maine voters will vote on a citizen initiative and whether to borrow $200 million in bonds.
Question 1 asks whether Mainers support enacting a 3.8 percent surtax to fund a universal home health care program for seniors and people who are disabled. The proposal has failed to earn support from gubernatorial candidates.
Question 2 would direct $30 million to rebuilding septic systems and municipal wastewater infrastructure across the state, mitigating pollution and preventing further contamination in state waterways.
Question 3 would invest $103 million into rebuilding some of the state’s roads, bridges, passenger railways, pedestrian trails, as well as marine vessel ports and harbors.
Question 4 and 5 would fund facility and programming improvements to the state’s University of Maine and community college systems, including energy efficiency upgrades and the launching of new millwrighting and industrial mechanics programs.